From 700,000 to 310,000 in just 30 years. This is Pittsburgh’s heritage. Catastrophic and transformational.
Where did those people go? Many went to the suburbs that ring the city. Their children, educated here, went further, to other cities, looking for jobs that eluded them here. They may have left, Jim Russell contends, but they left their hearts in Pittsburgh.
You might not know that the Waffle Shop is my tenant. Jon Rubin, it’s creator, rented it from me a few years back, just for a few months, he said. Two and half years later, the Waffle shop is a creative institution. It serves some food, with an abundance of creativity and has made a mark on my building, my other tenants, the neighborhood and Pittsburgh.
In Spring 2010, Huffington Post listed Pittsburgh as their #2 pick on their Best Cities for the Newly Graduated list. “Pittsburgh seems an unlikely place for a renaissance but the city escaped the recession relatively unscathed and is moving forward in many areas”, Huffington Post noted. “Besides having bustling education and health care sectors, the city is also generous with arts initiatives.”
Summer is a mixed blessing. While others are casting off their business suits, my life gets busier. More time in the office and more time at my desk. Less time for biking, less time for blogging.
Cool air greeted me on the sidewalk this morning. Summer is gone and with it the crazy work schedule of my life. The fall is a new beginning for me.
Every day, when my daughter was growing up, I’d point at a photograph in the newspaper and say “What’s wrong with this picture?”. She’s gone now, 23 years old and in school in Japan. Yet still, when I turned to page A-10 of today’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette, I said those words out loud. ”What’s wrong with this picture?”
I was disappointed. And then I wasn’t.
Every month Kim, Sara & I host a cityLIVE! event. We are interested, as we believe our audience is, in understanding issues that impact our city and region. We are interested in holding a forum that allows everyone to attend. And we are most interested in nurturing a thoughtful exchange of ideas.
cityLAB is going to pop Pittsburgh up in some other cities. We are hosting a one-day creative event (a charrette) at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture in Pittsburgh. Designers, architects, artists and wanna-be artists will work in teams to design a pop up that describes Pittsburgh best.
Our bus stop shelters are as dreary as January in Pittsburgh. While they may be utilitarian they are quite pedestrian and uninspired. The essential bus stop sign hasn’t even been integrated into the shelter. It stands all alone, attached to a nearby post or pole, an afterthought. What a shameful solution for a bus system that has more riders than most other cities in the US.
Everyone deserves to earn enough money to pay for their daily essentials. On face value alone the proposed prevailing wage bill in Pittsburgh makes sense. It speaks to the basic decency of employers and their willingness to take some responsibility for their employees lives.
Back by popular demand! We’ve gathered 10 more brilliant Pittsburgh minds to tell you about their funkiest, biggest, hairiest. most brilliant ideas for change. Give us 30 minutes on December 9, and we’ll change the way you see the city at this cityLIVE! event. Forget feasibility, funding or anything as ridiculous as consensus-building. We asked for ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘outside the box’.
This lovely little city, Pittsburgh, is under siege. Every day the media describes yet another crisis. Eight more schools to close. Library branches to be shuttered. A court order to fix the water and sewer system. Underfunded pension funds. Property and business taxes that are burdensome. Disappearing bus stops. Disappearing mail boxes. And the latest, a mayor who wants to tax our local college students to balance the city’s books.
Will we always be second best?
Over the last month I have been corresponding with a young man from Tokyo. He will be moving to Pittsburgh for a job, with wife and baby daughter in tow. He is in fact an American but has lived abroad for years now. He believes that America can offer a better life for his family.